Toll operator earns back advance paid, but you pay toll for 12 more years

Sep 19, 2014, 07:53 IST | Ranjeet Jadhav

With a daily toll collection of roughly Rs 1.57 cr, MEPL has already earned back the advance payment it made to MSRDC when it won the contract; has earned Rs 2,032 crore till June 2014

If the information provided on the website of Maharashtra State Road Development Corporation (MSRDC) is to be believed, Mumbai Entry Point Toll Road Private Limited (MEPL) has collected a whopping Rs 2,032.41 crore from the time it won the toll-collection contract till June 2014.

The toll plaza at Vashi, one of the five entry points under Mumbai Entry Point Toll Road Private Limited. File pic
The toll plaza at Vashi, one of the five entry points under Mumbai Entry Point Toll Road Private Limited. File pic

In November 2010, the MEPL won the contract for toll collection and had paid Rs 2,100 crore upfront to the MSRDC for five entry points of Mumbai for 16 years. This means that the toll operator has earned back its advance payment within four years of its contract, and has another 12 years to go.

The website also states that by the end of their contract period it is expected to earn around Rs 11,545.43 crore. According to the contract, MEPL’s toll collection will remain effective till November 2026, during which they will also maintain 27 flyovers of Western, Eastern and Sion-Panvel Highways.

After the recent agitation against toll collection, the state government agencies, including MSRDC and PWD, had made it mandatory for toll operators to display details about collections at their tollbooths, which is
also provided on their website. They were asked to display information like the total toll collection from the time of contract, number of vehicles that have passed the toll plaza, etc, at the toll plaza.

'Stop toll collection'
Speaking on the issue, Akhilesh Chaubey, general secretary of legal cell, MNS, which has been protesting against toll collection, said, “According to the observations made by the committee formed by the state government to evaluate the issue of toll, collection of toll should be immediately stopped after the operator earns back the advance amount.

The government should stop toll collection from the five entry points as MEPL has now earned the amount. In my opinion, the toll operator is not making any use of the money collected, as the condition of the 27 flyovers it is supposed to maintain is pathetic.

The taxpayers travelling on those roads are the ones who have to suffer every day.” Based on the information provided on the website, in the last 43 months (from the time it won the contract till June 30, 2014) MEPL has earned Rs 2,032.41 crore, roughly Rs 1.57 crore every day.

In addition to the toll collection, MEPL is also expected to maintain and repair flyovers and allied structures on the Eastern Express Highway, Western Express Highway, Sion-Panvel Highway and the Airoli Bridge.

MEPL collects toll at Vashi on Sion-Panvel Highway, Mulund on Lal Bahadur Shastri Marg and Eastern Express Highway, Airoli Bridge on Airoli-Mulund Road, and Dahisar on the Western Express Highway.

When mid-day contacted S Ramchandani, joint managing director of MSRDC, he refused to comment on the issue, saying, “Once I go through the figures, I will be in a position to comment on the matter.”

However, an MSRDC official, on the condition of anonymity, said, “After the state-wide agitation against toll collection, it was decided that operators will provide details about their toll collection, which is also updated on our website.

The details on the website of toll collected by the MEPL states that it has earned Rs 2,032.41 crore, and by the end of its contract, it is expected to earn Rs 11,545.43 crore.”

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